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2012 NFL Draft: 7 Prospects Who Need to Dominate Their Pro Days

Wes StueveContributor IIIMarch 6, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 7 Prospects Who Need to Dominate Their Pro Days

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    The 2012 NFL scouting combine is in the books, and prospects are left with only their pro days. Pro days aren't as important as the combine is, but they can be key in determining a player's stock.

    If a player already dominated at the combine, he probably doesn't need to do much at his pro day. He's already proven himself, so what more does he have to show?

    It's the guys who disappointed or did not perform at the combine who have something to prove. These guys need big performances to maintain or elevate their stocks. 

Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

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    Once considered a top-10 pick, Vontaze Burfict has seen his stock plummet. The 6'1", 248-pounder, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 seconds while jumping just 30" in the vertical leap.

    Burfict also hurt himself in his press conference and interviews. The Arizona State linebacker was quick to blame his coaches, and he appeared lazy and unaccountable. 

    Even a monster pro day won't make Burfict a first-round pick, but it may get him back into the second day.

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

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    Everyone knows Trent Richardson is insanely talented, and there aren't any doubts about his character either. In fact, the only question surrounding Richardson is his health, as the Alabama star recently had knee surgery, causing him to miss the combine.

    If the 5'9", 228-pounder runs well and looks healthy, he could be a top-five pick. If his knee still seems tender and he isn't running well, Richardson could fall into the teens.

    So, no, Richardson isn't going to be killed if he doesn't perform well (or perform at all), but it could make a big difference for his rookie contract. 

Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

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    Mike Adams' disappointing combine performance says nothing about his on-field ability. We know he's athletic and we know he is a first-round talent. The issue is what his lackluster numbers say about his work ethic.

    The Ohio State product's work ethic and dedication have been under fire since his freshman year. A 5.4 40-yard dash time and 19 bench reps to do nothing to silence the doubts. If anything, they show that Adams did not take the combine seriously.

    A good pro-day performance will show that Adams saw the combine as a wake-up call and did what he had to do to improve. That could push his stock back up into the top 15 or higher.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

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    One of the biggest stories of the combine was Alshon Jeffery weighing in at 216 pounds. The South Carolina star was expected to come in considerably bigger, and 216 pounds is a terrific weight for him.

    Jeffery didn't run at the combine, though. At his pro day, Jeffery needs to show that he can, in fact, run and separate in the NFL. It will also be interesting to see if Jeffery kept all his weight off since Indianapolis.

    A good 40-yard dash time could push Jeffery up higher than most expect. In fact, the top 10 may not be out of the question.

Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

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    Kendall Wright's game is based on speed. The 5'10", 196-pounder isn't much of a physical presence, and he has to be able to separate with his quickness and burst.

    At the combine, though, Wright ran a 4.6 40-yard dash. This time isn't good for a much bigger player, much less a small guy like Wright. 

    There could be many explanations for this disappointing time, and Wright has to show that the showing was a fluke. Like Joe Haden in 2010, Wright could heal his stock by running like he was expected to in Indianapolis. 

Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

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    After he weighed in at 6'5", 322 pounds, Michael Brockers was expected to have a monster combine. Well, he ran a 5.33 40-yard dash and recorded just a 26.5" vertical.

    Brockers is seen as a monster athlete, but he needs to prove it at LSU's pro day. He certainly didn't at the combine, and for a guy whose draft stock is based on potential, that's not good.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

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    Justin Blackmon could be slipping. There is a ton of controversy over whether the Oklahoma State star is, in fact, the draft's best wide receiver, and he needs to prove he can run.

    Blackmon's biggest knock is that he isn't a deep threat. At just 6'1", 207 pounds, Blackmon isn't overly big, and he needs to show he can separate. Since Blackmon didn't run at the combine, his pro day is his only chance to do so.

    A good 40-time will probably cement Blackmon as the draft's best wideout. A mediocre one will give Michael Floyd, Alshon Jeffery or Kendall Wright the chance to pass him.

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